Forms and Imagination

Copyright (C) 2004


You can see all kinds of interesting forms in the steam as it billows. Some would say you can predict the future with this kind of "divination", as it is called. It is not unlike reading tea leaves, tarot cards, or rune stones. And we all know about fortune cookies. The ancients may well have employed similar methods of steam divination, illuminating steam through a narrow slit in a wall as the sun rose early in the morning, or reading swirls in the morning fog rising from a lake as the sun came over a mountain. Humanity has a long history of trying to predict the future by various means, including divination. We figure that one thing influences another, and that by looking at subtle things, we may see the forces at play, and thus predict how they will act in the future.

Today, since we understand those forces better, we tend to favor mathematical models. Sometimes with better results. After all, most of our buildings and bridges are still standing. Mathematical models were used to determine the least amount of material needed to keep them standing. That is, after all, why modern buildings are not as massive as comparable buildings built twenty to fifty years ago, and far less massive than the Roman Ruins.

Others would say that most divination techniques, including this mystical art of "Ancient Egyptian Steam Reading" (tm), (circa 1995 a.d.) merely serve to allow your own inner thoughts, you many hopes, doubts, and ideas, to come to the fore as interpretations of ambiguous forms or messages. This is not necessarily bad, as long as you understand _where_ it comes from -- You! For then you know what "the fates portend" via steam, or fortune cookies, is not unchangeable; but merely reminders of possibilities you may influence by your own thoughts and actions.

From time to time, we all need something to spark our imagination, and to help us get in touch with our inner feelings. As far as I am concerned, steam is steam, and wishes are wishes. But all of human history shows that wishes, plus imagination, along with some well thought out hard work, can get you a lot closer to where you want to be! This, regardless of what mystical prognostications people come up with. You are, of course, free to believe whatever you wish. Just don't let your beliefs limit what you can do, nor let them prompt you to discard reason and caution.

P. S. My favorite prognostication technique is the examination of the inner surfaces of my eyelids -- (laughing,) by closing them to take a snooze. Bound to think of something when you let your mind look at nothing!

Next, let's see if you can figure out how to find the answer to this question.